On March 11, 2020, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) organised a press conference at the site of a dried-up dam constructed under government’s One Village, One Dam (1V1D) project. The site was at Nakpachie, a community in the Yendi Constituency of the Northern region. The purpose was to showcase the dried-up dam as evidence of what the party said was wasteful expenditure and the failure of the government’s much-trumpeted 1V-1D initiative.
“And so, in the spirit of evidence-based discourse, we have today brought you to the 1V1D site at Adibo and Nakpachei both in the Yendi Constituency in order to expose the deception behind the so-called flagship 1V1D initiative of President Akufo-Addo,” Sammy Gyamfi, National Communications Officer of the NDC said during the conference.
Following the NDC’s press conference, which received considerable media attention, the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives (MSDI), the sector ministry in charge of the constructions of the dams, responded.
In a statement, the Ministry said the small earth dams visited by the by the NDC including the dried-up one at Nakpachie, were uncompleted projects and cannot, therefore, be used as a reference that the government had failed on its promise on the 1V1D project.
“The Nakpachie and Adibo dams are part of the uncompleted small earth dams that never harvested water during the last raining season,” the Ministry’s statement signed by its Communications Officer, Kabore Awudu, said. The ministry, thus described the action of the NDC as misleading.
Following the debate, the Fact-Check Ghana team launched an investigation into the matter to help the public know what the facts are. Based on the evidence gathered as presented below, Fact-Check Ghana concludes that the claim by the Ministry that the Nakpachei dam is an uncompleted project is completely false. Below is the basis of our verdict:
First, and most importantly, a record of minutes of a meeting held by the Yendi Municipal Assembly Assembly on August 20, 2019, contradicts the claim of the Ministry. In the said minutes, the Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Alhaji Hammed Abubakari Yussif, unambiguously confirmed that the Nakpachie dam had been completed and handed over to the community.
On page 13 of the said minutes of the Assembly, there is a section titled: “ONE VILLAGE ONE DAM (1V1D)” and this is what is captured under the section:
“The Hon. MCE said under the above initiative(1V1D), 10 dams were awarded on contract, out of which one (1) dam at Nakpachei was completed and handed over while work was ongoing for five of them and four were yet to start.”
Second, in a document titled “Constructed Small Earth Dams and their Beneficiary Communities” published on the website of the Ministry, the ministry lists over 200 “Constructed” dams ( not dams under construction) under the 1V1D project. The Nakpachie dam is captured in the document as one of the Constructed dams.
Fact-Check Ghana went on to further engage residents of the Nakpachie community. It was established that the contractor had left the site of the earth dam. The residents had also used the dam for a short period until it dried up.
Following the above facts, we conclude that the claim by the Ministry of Special Initiatives Development that the Nakpachie dam was an uncompleted dam is completely false.